In Life at Home, Tips & Advice

Rake Up Your Fallen Leaves and Use Them With These Ideas

Girl laying in autumn leaves

The changing of seasons means beautiful colors on trees and foliage around your home, but as those leaves begin to fall, they can create quite a mess.

It’s important to clean up those leaves quickly, as fallen leaves left on your grass can mold and deprive your grass of sunlight during the fall months, weakening the root system and potentially damaging your lawn long-term.

Don’t just put those raked leaves out for the garbage man to pick up; there are several useful and even fun ways you can recycle fallen autumn leaves.

Dead leaves can be used to create mulch for your garden. In fact, leaf mulch can be just as good, if not better than store bough wood mulch or wood chips, and they won’t cause damage to vinyl and wood siding as wood mulch can.

Similarly, leaves can be used to enhance the nitrogen content of your compost pile. Leaves are full of nutrients that can help feed your garden. Add leaves to your compost pile to help create high-quality compost for your vegetable garden and other plantings.

If you do not need mulch or compost for your yard, consider offering your bagged leaves to a neighbor or even your own city to see if the leaves could be used as mulch or compost on municipal properties.

If you have children, use your yard cleanup as an opportunity for education. Help your children gather leaves that can be pressed in to collages to create a leaf collection. Simply press leaves in newspaper to remove moisture. Identify and label the leaves of specific trees.

How to Create Gorgeous Art with Fall Leaves

Why not take advantage of the beautiful colors of autumn leaves and create arts and craft projects you will love all year round? Here are a few ideas of what you can make using the leaves you’ve raked up from your garden:

Mantle Art — Create a stunning centerpiece for your fall mantle by gathering leaves of varying colors and arranging them on a solid wood board in the shape of a tree or leaf.

Custom Cards — Adhere leaves to blank note cards using a spray adhesive to create beautiful autumn cards to send to your family and friends.

Autumn Candle Holder — Illuminate the colors of autumn within your home with simple fall candleholders. Using a spray adhesive, adhere leaves to the outside of clear glass mason jars and place a tea light candle inside the jar.

Book and Leaf Garland — To create a strand of beautiful fall garland, adhere pressed leaves onto pennant-shaped pages of an old book.

Fall Roses — Craft a romantic bouquet of fall roses out of the leaves from your yard.

Art Leaf Prints — All you need is a hammer, tape, some paper and fall leaves and/or flowers to create stunning art leaf prints.

Rustic Fall Banner — Gather fall leaves, pinecones, berries and fall-colored fabric to create this rustic fall banner.

Framed Leaf Art — Mount spray-painted leaves to craft paper cut to fit a basic, fall-colored picture frame.

Clay Leaf Bowls — Use fallen leaves from your yard to create mini clay bowls perfect for holding jewelry and knick-knacks.

Leaf Wreath — Using leaves preserved with glycerin, create a festive fall wreath to decorate your front door.

Fall Leaf Tote — All you need to create an adorable fall leaf tote is a canvas tote bag, fabric paint, brushes and freshly fallen leaves. Check out this simple tutorial to get started.

Leaf Lanterns — Create enchanting fall lanterns using freshly fallen leaves and electric tea lights.

Leaf-Stamped Napkins — All you need is a set of white or off-white cloth napkins, some gold paint and leaves to create these beautiful leaf-stamped napkins for your fall tablescape.

Leaf Crown — Every little prince or princess will love this simple DIY craft. Using fresh leaves, a brown paper bag, scissors and tape, you can create a magical fall leaf crown to adorn your child’s head.

Whether you choose to recycle the leaves you rake from your yard as mulch or compost, get artsy and create a one-of-a-kind fall craft, or would prefer to bag them up and set them out with the garbage, the important thing to remember is that keeping leaves cleaned up is crucial to keeping your lawn healthy for next year.

As an added bonus, a clean and well-maintained yard creates the best first impression when it comes time to sell.

If you’re planning to purchase or sell a home this fall, contact a PrimeLending home loan expert near you to get the process started.

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